Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
tr.v. de·bunked, de·bunk·ing, de·bunks
To expose or ridicule the falseness, sham, or exaggerated claims of: debunk a supposed miracle drug.
Word History: You can readily see that debunk is constructed from the prefix de-, meaning "to remove," and the word bunk. But what is the origin of the word bunk, denoting the nonsense that is to be removed? Bunk came from a place where much bunk has originated, the United States Congress. During the 16th Congress (1819-1821), Felix Walker, representative from the district in North Carolina including Buncombe County, delivered a particularly pointless speech intended merely to convince his constituency that he was making a difference in Washington. His harried colleagues asked him to desist, but he nattered on despite their protests—he was speaking not to Congress, he explained, but "to Buncombe." Buncombe, respelled bunkum and later shortened to bunk, thus became synonymous with claptrap. The answer to all this bunk came in 1923 when William E. Woodward, a writer with a reputation for giving the blunt facts about respected US institutions, coined the term debunk in a best-selling novel called Bunk.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(tr) informal to expose the pretensions or falseness of, esp by ridicule
[C20: from de- + bunk2]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
to expose as being false or exaggerated.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Past participle: debunked
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
Switch to new thesaurus
|Verb||1.||debunk - expose while ridiculing; especially of pretentious or false claims and ideas; "The physicist debunked the psychic's claims"|
blackguard, guy, jest at, laugh at, make fun, poke fun, ridicule, roast, rib - subject to laughter or ridicule; "The satirists ridiculed the plans for a new opera house"; "The students poked fun at the inexperienced teacher"; "His former students roasted the professor at his 60th birthday"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
verb (Informal) expose, show up, mock, ridicule, puncture, deflate, disparage, lampoon, cut down to size The men of the enlightenment who debunked the church and the crown.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
debunk[ˈdiːˈbʌŋk] VT [+ theory, claim, person, institution] → desacreditar
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
debunk[ˌdiːˈbʌŋk] vt (theory) → demistificare; (claim) → smentire; (person, institution) → screditare
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995